How to train your Reid

May 6, 2021

Photo credit: Lovisa Photo

   The latest installment in Carol’s best-selling How To Train Your Reid (2021, Lowbrow and Sons, and located in the Nature and Wildlife section of your local bookstore) concerns the dinner table, specifically the pushing in of chairs when dinner is done. I didn’t even know it was a thing.

   Over the three years that Carol and I have cohabited, I’ve learned that good householding includes such must-do’s as making the bed by midmorning, putting toiletries back in their drawers after use, folding the hand towel before placing it back on the ring, maintaining kitchen and computer areas free of clutter and folding clean clothes before putting them away.

   Don’t get me wrong. I don’t find these things onerous or unreasonable. In fact, I’ve marveled at how both Carolyn and Carol have adjusted their lives to someone who can be almost feral in his personal habits. It’s simply that I never thought any of these apparent good housekeeping habits were just that.

   Getting back to the dinner table and chairs, I don’t remember their position vis a vis the table to ever have come up in any of those what I like to call intervention or rehab conversations that Carol will occasionally invoke, especially after binge-watching Parenthood or Everybody Loves Raymond.

Mind you, I’m neither reluctant nor indifferent to still try and be the husband that I fear Carol increasingly believes to be a pipedream.

   It’s only been recently that Carol has brought up the subject of the chairs not being pushed back in. Which leads me to suspect that she’s been pushing them back in on her own for most of the three years we’ve been together (three years and counting! I hasten to add). I’m conflicted about this. On the one hand, I feel bad for the loneliness she must have endured performing a simple task she knew her helpmate was cheerfully oblivious to being done right before his lying eyes every evening. On the other hand, I’m feeling wistful for the days when this household task was being performed without me knowing or, more importantly, lifting a finger to see it achieved.

   Mind you, I’m neither reluctant nor indifferent to still try and be the husband that I fear Carol increasingly believes to be a pipedream. Whenever she raises the running list of things that needs to be done around the house, I’m at the ready with a list of landscapers, handymen and contractors to meet the need – and so on.

   But getting back to those dinner table chairs again, I can’t offer much in the way of a quick study. First of all, I pass that table and chairs a dozen times a day without being aware they’re there, much less noticing a chair (mine?) to be a tad askew. And that one of the fallouts of the pandemic lockdown is that the chairs (mine again?) have had to be pushed farther and farther away from the table upon the completion of the evening meal. Which has had to have made the noticing of the chair (it is mine) out of its proper resting place more apparent to the discerning eye. And that may explain the most recent focus on this element of household maintenance.

   I’m thinking that putting rollers on the chair legs might help. I think I know a guy that does that.

  1. Nicole says:

    Lady I too, suffer in silence from the unending Pushing In Of Chairs. It is up there with Picking Up of Throw Pillows From Floor, Refolding of Throw Blankets (ALSO on Floor), Transferring Of Plates From Sink To Dishwasher, and most aggravatingly, Picking Up and Putting Away of Shoes At The Doorway. Even though technically, I am not silent on these issues – I reiterate my displeasure constantly – the words fall upon the deaf ears of my family, like tiny soft snowflakes, melting away the moment they touch their noses.

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